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3D&L owner Doug Harris demonstrates the company’s products that hold pipes in place.
SBJ photo by Geoff Pickle
3D&L owner Doug Harris demonstrates the company’s products that hold pipes in place.

Startup wins $10K at Efactory Pitch Contest

Posted online

Plumbing support product company 3D&L LLC won the Efactory’s annual Pitch Contest and, with it, a prize of $10,000.

The company owned by Doug Harris was one of five startups that pitched in the contest held virtually this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a prerecorded video released Nov. 18, the startup organizers pitched to judges Dustin Bobbitt, innovation program manager at BKD LLP; Zola Finch, executive director of RMI Inc., the event sponsor that provided the prize money; and Danny Perches, project manager for economic development at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Harris showed the judges his company’s custom, 3D-printed parts that hold pipes in place to help plumbers on the job. He said the product line, for which he currently has one patent, simplifies the process for plumbers installing cross-linked polyethylene tubing for jobs such as bathrooms and water fountains.

“Everybody that we have introduced this product to just loves it,” he said, noting it can be used in residential and commercial work. “The next step for us is to introduce our project nationwide.

“At this time, we do have a lot of expenses coming up, such as attorneys’ fees for patents and inventory.”

In response to a question from Bobbitt, Harris said the products typically sell on a per-job basis. He added, when asked by Finch, that Harry Cooper Supply Co. stocks the patented product, called the Frog, and it averages 30 sales per month. 3D&L’s website lists the Frog at roughly $4 per unit.

“I definitely like the consistency and cleanliness that it adds,” Perches said. “It just looks really sharp.”

At the conclusion of the event, Finch virtually presented the $10,000 check to 3D&L.

Custom business technology firm Hiperion, aviation document management company Aero Documents, personalized candidate-employer match company Purpose Connect and text-message marketing business Incent Local also presented in the five-minute pitch event.

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